Customer Satisfaction

Have you ever made a purchase in a store or on-line, and received a notice to complete a customer satisfaction survey? It seems that more companies are doing this now, to not only gauge the shopping experience, or their web site, but also to rank the employees that serviced the customer. On paper it seems like a great thing to do, and for a company a great way to engage your customers to learn how to improve your products and services. The reality of it though, is that at the end of the day, it comes down to going above and beyond for your customers. This is the key to building customer loyalty.

Given the turmoil with the economy in recent years, many businesses have scaled back their labor force, extended their hours, and pushed to promote sales. Many times in doing this, they have forgotten one of the golden rules in business: The customer comes first.

To share the value of customer service, I want to share 2 stories with you. The first is an experience with my own business, and the second an experience a friend of mine had with a large car dealer.

For my own business: I recently had a gentleman make a purchase from us. I personally filled his order, packed everything up, and shipped it out to him. 2 days later I received a phone call from the gentleman. It seems that he made a mistake on his purchase and accidentally forgot to select the correct size for one of the shirts he ordered. He admitted he was not used to making purchases on-line, though was very excited to order from us.

It so happened that this gentleman lived about 20 miles away, so I asked him if he would be home, and personally drove down a replacement for him. I also brought 2 other sizes of the shirt, to make sure he got the one that would fit him the best. He thanked me and said he would let all of his friends and family know how great of a company we were to purchase from.

While this may seem to some a great length to go to, when you are a business trying to carve a name for yourself, it is the extra effort and superior customer service that goes a long way.

For the experience my friend had: This past summer they purchased a certified used Hyundai Santa Fe from Winner Ford in Dover. It was a 4 year old vehicle with just over 50,000 miles on it. They said the sales experience was great, and the whole process went smoothly. A few months later though, they started to have problems with the car, and the check engine light came on, so they took it in for service, and this is when the service nightmare began.

They were told that the car need quite a few repairs, with a bill that totaled over a $1,000. Not sure what to do, and being told it was not covered under the warranty on the car, they said they needed to think about it. This is when they were hit with $100 charge just to look at the car. They made call after call to try to get some answers as to why the vehicle had so many problems being still fairly new, and after Winner Ford basically told them “Sorry, there is nothing we can do for you”, they finally took it to an independent master mechanic to have him evaluate the car. The mechanic gave them a list of what they found, and replaced 2 of the senors that was causing the car to cut off.

So now my friend is faced with a huge decision, get rid of the car for something else, or pour in over $1,000 in repairs that are still needed and pray nothing else goes wrong.

This story is not unique. I have heard it time and time again from many people with experiences that they have had at various businesses. This is the breakdown of service after the sale. It is almost as if once these businesses have the money in hand, the customer is no longer important to them.

If you are a business owner, you need to ask yourself this one simple question: Do I put my customers #1 both before and after the sale?

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About delaware302
Delaware 302 is more than an online clothing store. It's about giving Delawareans a way to express their pride about being from, or even just living in, the First State. Whether you're wearing it or displaying it on your vehicle - let the world see you are Delaware proud. But you don't have to be born here to "represent" the 302.

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